A recent conversation with a new arrival about a frustrating bus experience got me thinking. When I first moved to Rome it was in the pre-smart phone days. There was no google maps to guide me through the charming labyrinth of cobblestones. I had a laminated map that had almost all the streets I needed on it. I got lost. A lot. ATAC buses didn't have GPS tracking, there was no Google translate. How did we do it! You don't have to answer that. I was an expat in the days of blue airmail envelopes. I remember.
If you are a smartphone owner, life in Rome is much easier than it was eight years ago.
There are a bunch of apps out there that can make your life in Rome a little easier.
Roma Bus - This app tracks (most) of Rome's public buses so you know if it is faster to walk or wait. You can also geo-locate yourself and it will tell you what bus stops are close.
Il Meteo - As they say in Italian, Marzo è pazzo, March is crazy. The weather has been a little chaotic these days. Il Meteo will help you know if it's time to put the winter boots and scarves away yet.
Wanted in Rome is a useful, information packed website. Have news, events and classified at your fingertips with this app.
Where to Eat - What to See Apps
Eat Italy - my pal Elizabeth's App. I use this all the time.
Apps that make Expat Life Easier
NPR - I listen to NPR almost all day long. It is my background noise as I type. When I can't sleep, I use this app to stream All Things Considered or Fresh Air on Hawaii time.
Google Translate - Want to make sure you understood that snappy tweet, or what you need to say at the hardware store, the google translate app even has audio.
Conjugation Nation - I have a vast vocabulary in Italian. Of nouns. I feel like I know about 2 verbs and only in the present tense. This app makes practicing more like a game than work.
My app is now an ebook available on Amazon.
What apps do you use?